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Threatening letter to Savannah mosque urges Muslims to ‘get out of dodge’

A Muslim advocacy group is planning to step up its outreach efforts after a Savannah mosque received a letter threatening genocide that claimed President-elect Donald Trump is “going to do to you Muslims what Hitler did to the Jews.”

The Georgia chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations said it plans to host an open house in Savannah in January 2017 with a question and answer session on the religion after the Islamic Center of Savannah received an anonymous letter similar to notes sent to several mosques in California.

The hand-written letter referred to Muslims as “vile and filthy people” who believed in a Satanic faith and urged them to “pack your bags and get out of dodge” because Trump is “going to cleans America and make it shine again. And he’s going to start with you Muslims.”

"This is a great time for patriotic Americans,” the letter concluded. “Long live President Trump and God bless the U.S.A."

Edward Ahmed Mitchell, the executive director of CAIR’s Georgia chapter, said his group has seen an increase in reports of anti-Muslim attacks since Trump’s election.

"Whoever sent these letters should know that they have only strengthened our resolve to keep practicing our faith, defending our rights and building bridges with our neighbors,” he said.

The Southern Poverty Law Center has reported at least 51 anti-Muslim incidents since Trump’s victory, many occurring in the first days after his win. Trump has denounced hate groups in TV interviews, though his critics say he hasn’t targeted them vigorously enough.

The mosque’s leaders have filed a police report and alerted national Muslim advocacy groups. Omar Affneh, a leader of Savannah’s Islamic community, told WTOC he is taking the threat seriously.

"They don't know what our beliefs are. I mean most people who take the time to write stuff like that should take the time to get educated first,” he told the Savannah TV station. “We're all one, were all people on the inside we're all human, doesn't matter religion, color, race. It doesn't matter we're all people."


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About the Author

Greg Bluestein is a political reporter who covers the governor's office and state politics for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.